Officially Philip Buys (USN) is on holiday but he seems to have forgotten that on Saturday (2O October) during the Nissan TrailSeeker Van Gaalen mountain bike marathon (70km)
Buys simply rode away when the route got technical in the the last 10km to take his second victory in the Nissan-series crossing.
“There is no stopping Philip once he gets to race on a challenging single track section” is how Lourens Luus (Valencia) described Buys’ performance. Luus was the only rider who could keep up with Buys for most of the race, but as luck would have it his bike’s chain slipped as he was trying to get into the right gear for the single track.
“I must have lost about 10 to 15 seconds but that is no excuse. Even if I did not have that mechanical setback I would have battled to try and keep up with Philip. “He was in class of his own riding the single track,” Luus said.
Luus finished second with Neil MacDonald (RE:CM) taking third, nearly five minutes adrift. It is the third time that MacDonald finished second in the Nissan TrailSeeker series which makes him a definite contender to win overall.
Waylon Woolcock (RE:CM) was fourth mere centimeters behind his teammate.
“This victory is to thank my sponsors. I owed them at least one good performance before the end of the year especially since I missed on getting good results in the last few races mostly due to bad luck at critical moments,” Buys said.
When asked about his “kamikaze” display on the last technical single track section Buys just laughed. “It was fun. The faster you race on the single track the more enjoyable it becomes. So I was just enjoying myself.”
Buys is still in with a chance to win the Nissan TrailSeeker series overall.
“We will see about it. I am not going to commit myself to racing the last race in the series. If I race it will be a spur of the moment decision. I seriously need to take a break before the next season starts. So I want to enjoy myself and do things normal people do. Like eating pudding, meat without cutting of the fat and more importantly I don’t want to spend hours every day on my mountain bike.
“I did not go for a training ride at all before the Nissan Van Gaalen race.”
Luus was full of praise for the Van Gaalen route. “It was proper mountain biking in which every skill were tested. Actually it was very well balanced course. There were some short challenging climbs, tricky single track sections and flat easy racing on district roads. “After finishing my whole body, not only my legs, were tired. Even my hands were sore. That proves that it was a true mountain bike race.”
Theresa Ralph won the women’s marathon. Amy Beth McDougal was second and Samantha Saunders (Valencia) third.